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City of Racine Wins Smart Cities Challenge

by Jeremy Williamson
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RACINE, WI — The Smart Cities Council chose the City of Racine as one of the five winners for the Smart Cities Readiness Challenge. Racine is the first “Smart City” in Wisconsin, and also was the smallest city to make the list of finalists, second to Palm Coast, Fla., with a population around 86,000.

According to the press release delivered by The City of Racine, The Readiness Challenge is a competition where cities must demonstrate their commitment to becoming a Smart City by using technology and data-informed decisions to better deliver City services and create a more equitable community.

“Winning the Smart Cities Readiness Challenge is the culmination of more than a year’s worth of work in which the City has brought together amazing community partners around the idea the we can use technology to deliver better services to our residents while at the same time creating a more inclusive and equitable City.”

Mayor Cory Mason

City of Racine

The winners of the Smart Cities Readiness Challenge receive several benefits that will help propel the City’s smart cities initiatives.

  • Access to best practices. The application process is almost like a smart cities workshop. Knowledge resources coach you on best practices as you go along.
  • Access to the Smart Cities Project Activator, an online tool to help cities and their public and private partners plan, manage, and finance smart city projects.
  • Access to other cities to share lessons learned and expand the peer network.
  • Access to financing to explore alternative business models and financing options.

The five winners also receive a full-year Readiness Program, including mentoring, an outcome-oriented Readiness Workshop in their cities, a Readiness Roadmap based on their priorities, and regular progress calls and follow-up workshops. Winners also receive nationwide publicity as a great place to live and work, plus travel scholarships to Smart Cities Week twice per year to continue their learning. To top it off, winners also get access to financiers who can structure public-private partnerships and other forms of alternative financing.

“On behalf of the RCEDC Leadership Council, we offer our hearty congratulations to the city for receiving this designation. This opportunity will position the city as a leader in smart city planning and confirm the city as an exciting destination in the region and Wisconsin.”

Jenny Trick

Racine County Economic Development Corporation, Executive Director

Over the coming months, the City and its partners will plan public outreach and engagement campaign with the help of Smart Cities Council. The goal is to engage stakeholders from every sector of the community and to meet residents in their neighborhoods so that there is a clear understanding of what Smart Cities means and how it can benefit their lives.

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